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You love your dog. He is your best friend and greatest companion.
But lately you have noticed that he just doesn’t have that same spring in his step that he used to.
You have noticed that he’s struggling a bit getting up in the morning, having difficulty going up or down stairs, or having a hard time with your slick or hardwood floors.
These are all tell tale signs of arthritis in dogs, and though this painful condition cannot be cured, it can be managed.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, one in every five dogs suffers from arthritis. (1)
This number increases when you narrow your focus onto our friends that are advanced in age.
Dogs experience pain in their hips, knees, elbows, and backs, and the discomfort and loss of mobility from arthritis can have devastating effects on their quality of life.
Aging is a normal part of life, but the pain of arthritis does not have to be.
There are many options to help keep your canine companion feeling great and out of pain.
But which is right for you and your dog?
Every canine companion needs to be kept at a lean, healthy weight to decrease stress on their joints, and to be fed a healthy diet.
But what more can you do?
Everywhere you go there is talk of all-natural supplements that promise to cure all that ails you and your pet, but how do you know what really works?
Well, today we are going to look at five all-natural supplements that you should be giving your older dog and why.
Glucosamine has been used for many years in the treatment of arthritis in many species, including our canine friends.
The glucosamine used in joint supplements is an amino sugar and regulates the synthesis of collagen in cartilage and may provide mild anti-inflammatory effects. (2)
It is helpful to start your pet with what is known as a “loading dose” when they first start on glucosamine.
This means that they are given a larger dose (usually twice the normal daily amount) for at least a month, and then taken back to the recommended daily dose.
Side effects are rarely seen with glucosamine administration but can include mild gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and gas.
These issues often clear up once the dog adjusts to the new supplement. Allergies to this nutraceutical are rare, but possible.
If your pet is on other medications, you should always consult your veterinarian, but do note that glucosamine is contraindicated with some chemotherapeutic agents and blood thinning medications. (3)
Chondroitin is most often given in conjunction with glucosamine, as the two work together to repair cartilage. (4)
This synergy is ideal for helping and healing your dog’s joints.
On its own, chondroitin sulfate inhibits destructive enzymes in joint fluid and cartilage. (5)
The addition of this ingredient to your dog’s joint supplement is important to your aging pet’s joints.
It is imperative to do all we can to stop the damage and degradation of the joints to avoid further pain and disability.
Happily, chondroitin also has a mild anti-inflammatory effect to help relieve your dog’s pain.
As with glucosamine, a loading dose is recommended, and side effects and drug interactions are rare.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an all-natural supplement that is often recommended for dogs with arthritis.
It has anti-inflammatory properties and is also an antioxidant.
To date, there have been limited studies on MSM which have shown some efficacy. (6)
We also have seen a fair amount of anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness.
This means that owners giving MSM to their dogs report back to their veterinarians that the supplement has had a positive effect.
The supplement is safe with very few side effects being reported.
The reported side effects have been limited to mild gastrointestinal upset.
It is possible that large quantities of MSM could affect blood clotting, so if your pet is also taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or blood thinners, you should speak to your veterinarian. (7)
Just as in your body, your dog’s joints produce hyaluronic acid as part of the fluid inside the joint that serves to lubricate, cushion, and protect.
Joints have the highest concentration of HA found anywhere in the body. (8)
Unfortunately, over time, with aging and use, the hyaluronic acid in your dog’s joints decreases and the joints feel the damage.
This leads to pain and disability. Replenishing hyaluronic acid can have a protective effect on your pet’s joints and improve symptoms.
Clinical studies have shown a statistically significant positive effect with this supplement which is extremely exciting! (9)
No major negative side effects or drug interactions have been reported with hyaluronic acid as an oral supplement.
Turmeric has been shown to possess both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is used to treat the pain and swelling that comes from arthritis.
Turmeric is safe for dogs in small quantities, and many foods already contain trace amounts. (10)
This supplement has shown great promise in use with human arthritis, even having efficacy equal to that of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. (11)
This supplement could possibly have toxicity issues in dogs, so be sure to get a supplement from a trusted source as opposed to feeding the raw ingredient or human supplements to your dog, and always consult a veterinarian with any questions or concerns.
As pet owners and veterinarians, we all want the same thing, which is keeping your dog healthy and happy for many years to come.
Arthritis can be a formidable foe that can rob your pet’s comfort and quality of life, but luckily there are ways we can fight back.
First, make sure that your dog is maintaining a lean, healthy weight and is getting proper nutrition.
If you see signs of arthritis, which include an overall slowing down, reluctance to play, trouble getting up, difficulty going up or down stairs, or having a hard time on slick surfaces, it is time for a visit to your veterinarian.
If the diagnosis is arthritis, consider an all-natural joint supplement and look for high quality, all-natural ingredients with science behind them.
We wish you many happy years of fluffy kisses and wet noses!
Fact Checked By Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, DVM
967 E. Parkcenter Blvrd #345
Boise, ID 83706
THE STATEMENTS MADE ON OUR WEBSITES HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FDA (U.S. FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION). OUR PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTEDNED TO DIAGNOSE, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE. K9MAXX IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY OF THE STUDIES MENTIONED ON THE WEBSITE. THE TESTIMONIALS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE INDIVIDUAL CASES AND DO NOT GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL GET THE SAME RESULTS.
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